Zombies to walk again in 2019, despite flagging attendance, sponsorships

Enthusiastic Support: Charlie Ross, manager of Don’s Hobby Shop, attended Calgary Zombie Walk on Saturday, Oct. 6. Don’s was a proud sponsor of the Zombie Walk for the second year in a row. Ross is showing off one of her shop’s new additions, mouth dye. She said it tasted like vanilla mint. (Photo by Colin Craig/SAIT)

Despite struggles with funding, Calgary’s annual Zombie Walk hopes to be back again next year.

Christopher Brownell, the organizer of the event acknowledged that this year’s walk didn’t attract as many zombie lovers to Olympic Plaza on Oct. 6, as in past years.

About 120 people participated in the event, on the Saturday of the Thanksgiving long weekend.

“We didn’t get the numbers we hoped for,” said Brownell, who ran the event.

“We need more sponsors to help the walk grow to its old size again.”

But despite the difficulties, Brownell says zombie-lovers can expect the event to return in 2019.

“The walk will happen again 2019,” said Brownell, hoping more sponsors will step in to make it more successful.

The 2018 walk started with face painting and photo taking, at Olympic Plaza downtown.

The participants then joined together to all dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, before setting out down Stephen Avenue for the actual walk.

The walk was supposed to be taking donations for the food bank, but ran into issues.

“For some reason [the food bank people] didn’t show,” said Brownell.

One sponsor that helped out this year was Don’s Hobby Shop on Centre Street North.

Don’s manager, Charlie Ross, had a booth set up at the event where she and her co-workers helped paint people’s faces.

She was also dressed up in her zombie attire, using various items she sells at her shop.

“This mouth dye is movie grade,” said Ross, showing off her “mean green” Mouth FX oral dye.

The oral dye was one of the newest additions to her shop.

“Tastes like vanilla mint, not to mention it’s vegan, gluten free, sugar free, even cruelty free,” said Ross.

Despite there not being as many people as Brownell hoped for, the people that made it out to the event were lively, and there were many families with young children in attendance.

Travis and Jeana Whaling brought their son, Jethro, to the event. All three of them were dressed as zombies.

Jeana and Travis Whaling both wore matching, vibrant colored clothing, and had their faces made up to make them look undead.

“It took three times to do [Jethro’s] makeup, because he cried it off the first two times,” said Jeana Whaling.

Valerie Petroff, a volunteer at Haunted Calgary, was also at the event, sporting her own home-made zombie costume, accompanied by lots of face paint.

“You can use body powder to set your Halloween makeup,” said Petroff.

Petroff said she was dressed as a zombie and had her makeup on at 8 a.m. that morning.

Shawn Nicholson, one of the Calgary Ghostbusters, was dressed up in his home-made ghost buster costume.

“A lot of people reach out to us for events,” said Nicholson.

His friends originally got him into helping with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and since then he’s been going around to charity events as a ghost buster for about four years.

Zombie Family: Travis Whaling (left), Jethro Whaling (Middle), and Jeana Whaling all attended Calgary Zombie Walk on Saturday Oct. 6. Travis and Jeana are wearing traditional Korean hanbok dresses. (Photo by Colin Craig/SAIT)
About Colin Craig 1 Article
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Colin Craig is working as a writer for The Press during the 2018-19 academic year.